The Texas Department of Transportation is beginning a study of US 75 (Central Expressway) from I-635 (LBJ Freeway) to State Highway 121 (Sam Rayburn Tollway). The study is designed to identify and address mobility needs in the corridor to meet future growth, enhance quality of life, support economic development and improve public safety.
A series of public meetings will take place related to the Corridor Study as it progresses through the fall of 2015.
The City Council has set several guiding principles and goals for the Corridor Study so any reconstruction of US 75, Richardson’s paramount transportation artery, will be mindful of the highway’s dual role as a component of the greater statewide transportation network as well as an essential contributor to the long-term health and vitality of the city of Richardson.
CITY COUNCIL'S GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR US 75 RECONSTRUCTION
Central Expressway/US 75 operates foremost as a commuter corridor serving locally-situated regional employment centers and proximate residential population. The accommodation of comparatively larger volumes of traffic, particularly commercial trucking, is better suited to true interstate corridors.
Interstate status for the segment of Central Expressway/US 75 that passes through the City of Richardson would not be in the best interests of the City and is categorically opposed. However, Richardson does steadfastly maintain its support for designation of US 75 to Interstate status beginning in McKinney and continuing north into Oklahoma.
The bi-directional, eight hour span of traffic congestion projected for the segment of Central Expressway/US 75 that passes through the City of Richardson affirms its unique character as a commuter corridor. Consequently, addressing long-term traffic projections by maintaining bi-directional congestion relief is a fundamental necessity.
Any expansion of the Central Expressway/US 75 right-of-way within the City of Richardson must not impair long-term planning objectives to enhance neighborhood integrity and foster on-going reinvestment, redevelopment and densification of properties that flank either side of the highway.
Increasing the traffic capacity of Central Expressway/US 75 must be accomplished in manner that does not require vertical expansion of the roadway. At-grade and below-grade design solutions are the preferred options to accommodate additional capacity. Vertical expansion shall be minimized to the greatest extent practicable and limited exclusively to discrete locations as necessary to provide access to or from the freeway and managed travel lanes.
East/west, intra-city connectivity through the Central Expressway/US 75 Corridor must be meaningfully improved by providing for safer, more attractive and comfortable pedestrian and bicycle mobility.
While managed lanes may afford a viable solution to generate revenue for project funding, safe and efficient ingress and egress shall be made available and maintained to benefit those individuals working, residing or visiting in the City of Richardson.
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes are an essential component of the Central Expressway/ US 75 Corridor. Safe and efficient ingress and egress shall be made available and maintained to benefit those individuals working, residing or visiting in the City of Richardson.
Any reconstruction or redesign of Central Expressway/US 75 must tangibly contribute to one’s sense of arrival and the City’s uniqueness of place by implementing a comprehensive urban design theme that fortifies City of Richardson gateway and portal features, and which should include landscaping, enhanced pavement, specialty lighting, signage, and architectural treatments to elements such as column cladding, retaining walls, bridge bents, abutments, etc.
Access to the proximate DART Red Line light rail stations and the capacity of the Red Line itself must not be compromised in any way as a result of reconstruction or redesign of Central Expressway/US 75. Neither shall such reconstruction or redesign impede extension of the Cotton Belt commuter rail over Central Expressway /US 75 to link with the DART Red Line at the Bush Turnpike Station.